National hugging day: what are the mental health benefits of hugging?

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(Olivia Petter/ The Independent)  —  It might sound simple, but the humble hug is more powerful than you think.

Hence why there is an entire day dedicated to hugging, and it happens every year on 21 January.

While National Hugging Day is primarily observed in the US, countries around the world participate in the celebrations, whether it’s by making a conscious effort to embrace your neighbor or setting a record for the largest group hug.

But other than making you feel warm and fuzzy inside, what does hugging do to us?

From curbing anxiety to fostering feelings of security, see our roundup of the mental health benefits of hugging below. (…)

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